Fantasy Focus: McIlroy makes USPGA return

The Northern Irishman won the tournament last year at Valhalla

The Northern Irishman won the tournament at Valhalla last year.

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Rory McIlroy will attempt to defend his USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits this week after recovering from injury.

Two-time major winner Jordan Spieth and Open champion Zach Johnson have been grouped with McIlroy in Wisconsin, with Spieth aiming to win his third major of the year.


VIDEO: How Rory McIlroy became a champion


Another notable grouping sees Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day all play together. All three are regarded as nearly men at majors and will be desperate to secure one of golf's biggest prizes.

The big question is, of course, where does this leave your Fantasy Golf selections? Here's our advice for the week ahead...


GM tips for this week

USA 1: Rickie Fowler - After his victories in the Players Championship and  Scottish Open, Fowler is one of the in-form Americans over the last few months. Expect him to make a strong move at Whistling Straits.

USA 2: Jordan Spieth - Who would bet against Spieth? With two majors under his belt this year and only one shot away from a St Andrews play-off, the Texan will be relishing winning a third title with McIlroy in close pursuit.

Great Britain: Justin Rose - Englishman Rose has T6, T4 and T3 finishes in his last three tournaments. Surely something will give on the links-like Straits course?

Ireland: Rory McIlroy - It might be something of a tall order to ask McIlroy to return from injury firing on all cylinders. However, his natural ability and track record means he's always worth backing, even in exceptional circumstances.

Scandinavia: David Lingmerth - A winner on the PGA Tour this season, Lingmerth is in fine form. Three top 6 finishes in his last four tournaments means he's probably a better bet than fellow Swede Henrik Stenson.

Rest of Europe: Francesco Molinari - While not in scintillating form, Italian Molinari has the ability to challenge and will hope to channel his strong performances at the BMW PGA Championship and French Open.

Asia: Hideki Matsuyama - With five top 5 finishes this year, Matsuyama has shown he is capable of mounting a bid towards the top. Could he finally see it through this week?

Africa: Branden Grace - South African Grace played well at the US Open and is the country's most prominent player and most likely winner right now. Don't be surprised if he contends.

Australasia: Jason Day - With Open heartbreak out of his system and an RBC Canadian Open win, Day is well positioned to challenge this week. You feel his first major will arrive sooner rather than later.

South America: Camilo Villegas - The Colombian finished T8 the last time the USPGA Championship visited this course. That should count for something, despite his inconsistent form.

Will Medlock graduated from UEA with a degree in Film and Television before completing a Masters in Sports Journalism at St Mary's in London. Will has had work published by The Independent and the Rugby Paper.